WHILE some in the community had concerns about golfing during the COVID-19 pandemic the NSW Government has allowed courses to open.
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Ian Barnard Club Captain at Horizons Golf Resort spoke to News Of The Area about how the course is mitigating risk and ensuring that the rules are adhered to.
There are many reasons around taking the risk and opening.
Ian believes that these are valid questions and that they deserve answers.
To Ian and many golfers, golf is not just about getting a little ball in a hole.
It’s social contact and interaction for many of our members who have no family, few friends and no other source of companionship or indeed exercise.
The team at Horizons believe that the social ramifications of this current situation are very important and so we believe that we should do everything we can to make our members’ lives as normal as possible within the guidelines.
Ian Barnard told News Of The Area, “It’s not just golf, the Government has opened up golf, tennis and fishing.
“It is not just that it is OK to play golf, they are encouraging people to play golf.”
He believes that one of the big issues facing the community is how do you manage a population that has been locked up for six months.
“The hole cups are now upside down so you don’t make contact with the cup removing the ball.”
Ian has been fielding questions around social distancing and the new rules that are in place to protect members and the wider community.
Some married couples were disappointed that they can no longer share a cart, and members are taking this with good humour.
But as Ian Barnard told News Of The Area, the social distancing rules are based on two clear principles which will keep all members apart and maintain the mandated 1.5 metre distance at all times, and not create any situation or condition where members touch anything that may have been touched by another person.
Golf during COVID-19 at Horizons will look somewhat different with only two people allowed in each group, only one person and set of clubs per golf cart, flagstaffs staying in place during putting, no exchange of score cards, no touching the computer during score input, it is strictly BYO pencil and no sharing of equipment and there are no rakes on the bunkers.
In fact if you land in a bunker you have never been better placed to take a chip at the greens with a preferred lies rule in effect.
Of course there is no touching other players balls, ball markers or clubs, it is a case of look after your own gear and let others look after their own.
With staggers start times and rules around catching up to the players on the hole in front of you Golf at Horizons under 2020 rules is a low risk game.
Players who breach the rules will face penalties.
Horizons Director Bob Westbury told News Of The Area, “With 85 hectares Horizons allows players operating under the new rules to safely get exercise and to continue to enjoy their game.”
A result of these rules is seeing more players walking the course, enjoying the environment and for those that have no one, playing golf can be the only thing that they are part of.
Horizons is not alone with Hawks Nest Golf Course also reopening to members.
By Marian SAMPSON